By BETH BRADEN
An apartment fire shut down US 27 through Oneida for several hours Friday morning as 16 firefighters from the Oneida, Winfield, and Mid-County fire departments fought the flames.
Around 4 a.m. on Dec. 7, fire crews were dispatched to the corner of Alberta Street and Davis Lane where they found fire erupting from the ceiling of a four-unit building, according to Oneida Fire Chief Mike Stringer.
The north apartment was occupied, while the middle and south units were reportedly used to house items for Michael's Mission. The basement unit was reportedly occupied by a dog grooming business. The occupant of the north apartment was able to escape unharmed, though Stringer characterized the building and its contents as a total loss.
The fire started in the center unit and quickly spread throughout the building as temperatures stayed well below freezing. Two homes behind the structure were evacuated for a short time.
The Oneida police and road departments helped divert traffic around the blaze, closing US 27 between Main and Depot streets. That closure snarled morning school and work traffic as residents used side streets to get through town.
The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.